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Council welcomes Government approval of plans for thousands of new school places in Essex

21 September 2016

Essex County Council has welcomed the Government’s decision to approve proposals for new free schools in Essex.

Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening MP, last week agreed to allow plans for four new schools in Colchester, Chelmsford and Harlow to proceed to the next stage of the process.

The successful applications, which will create 3,730 places across Essex, are:

  • Trinity College (mainstream 4-16 all-through school for 1,170 pupils in north Colchester. Submitted by The Gilberd School, Manningtree High School and Colchester County High School for Girls)
  • The Sir Frederick Gibberd College (mainstream, 11-18 secondary school for 1,600 pupils, including sixth form provision, in Tendring Road, Harlow. Submitted by Burnt Mill Academy Trust)
  • REAch2 Colchester academy (mainstream 2-11 primary school for 480 pupils, including nursery provision, in Colchester. Submitted by REAch2)
  • REAch2 Chelmsford Academy (proposed mainstream, 2-11 primary school for 480 pupils, including nursery provision, in Chelmsford. Submitted by REAch2)

Anticipated opening dates have yet to be confirmed and will be subject to the usual planning processes.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Essex is growing rapidly and the demand for school places is also rising. Despite this, we continue to be able to offer the majority of pupils a place at one of their parents’ preferred schools.

“Ongoing investment in new school places is vital in maintaining that track record and we welcome the Government’s approval of these new free schools in Essex.

As a council we are also planning to spend about £360million over the next three years on creating thousands more new school spaces.”

The latest successful free school applications come after proposals for a new primary free school in Saffron Walden were approved in July.

The school, which will accommodate 210 pupils, will be built by Essex County Council and run by the Saffron Academy Trust.